TIME STANDS STILL by Terry Ivins, directed by Lorne Cardinal, with Sam Bob and Jonathan Fisher. Presented by Native Earth in association with Theatre Passe Muraille in the Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson). Runs to March 2, Tuesday-Saturday 8 pm, matinees Saturday-Sunday 2:30 pm. $16-$22, Sunday pwyc. 416-504-7529. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Time Stands Still is a little play with a big heart. Barely more than an hour long, Terry Ivins's script tracks the relationship between Mark (Jonathan Fisher) and Carl (Sam Bob), two native men serving jail terms.The glowering, distrustful Mark, filled with anger toward himself and others, finds himself parenting the childlike Carl, whose fantasy is to be the only man on an island full of women.
While the tale is simple and straightforward, Ivins fills it with earthy humour and little nuggets of insight and emotion: Carl's memory of a sunrise, Mark's loss of his girlfriend, the racism found in jail, the men's dreams of a new start in life.
Some of the scenes would benefit from further fleshing out, but in director Lorne Cardinal's sensitive production the show has a clear anchor in the love and concern between Carl and Mark.
Fisher carefully peels back Mark's anger to reveal the anguish underneath. It's Bob whose work lingers, though, as he draws us into Carl's emotional truths with a touch of unassuming poetry.